HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Skeleton and the Lantern: MotoMysteries Book 1
Author: Sherri Kukla
Publisher: S & S Publishing, 2019
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 9 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Kukla, Sherri. The Skeleton and the Lantern: MotoMysteries Book 1 (Publisher in 2019 by S & S Publishing Inc., Borrego Springs, CA 92004). Jeremiah and Millie Anderson live with their parents Max and Norah. The whole family rides off road motorcycles. Both kids are homeschooled and adopted, but for some reason Millie’s adoption finalization is being held up. Their father’s big dream, instilled into him by his own grandfather, is to buy a piece of property in the desert near Dry Brook, CA, and start a ranch where troubled children can do motocross. Finally, the desired property is put up for sale, but problems with the purchase keep popping up. While camping near the property, the Andersons hear stories from a fellow camper called Minnesota Mike about a lost gold mine on it guarded by a ghostly skeleton with a lantern. These are similar to legends that Max had heard as a child from his grandfather.
Then one night Jeremiah and Millie actually see the skeleton and the lantern. Are they for real? Does their family get the property and find the gold mine? Will Millie’s adoption ever go through? And is there any connection between the skeleton, the property, and the adoption? The Skeleton and the Lantern, which is Book 1 of the MotoMysteries Series, is a great faith-based middle grade kids’ mystery-adventure story that will have readers on the edge of their seats with all its twists and turns and multiple challenges. There are a couple of common euphemisms (i.e., darn and heck), but the short chapters, which alternate between Jeremiah’s and Millie’s viewpoints, are perfect for reluctant readers.
Several engrossing subplots full of suspense and action are woven into the fast-moving storyline which will keep one interested from chapter to chapter, each of which ends with a cliffhanger to get the reader wanting more. Young folks who like dirt bikes and the desert will especially appreciate the book, which is well written and easy to read, but one doesn’t have to be an “off-roader” or know much about motorcycles to enjoy it, and it can be savored by anyone, even adults, with its refreshing family friendly content. Also it has some great life lessons that parents will appreciate as well. It is always encouraging to read good fiction in which families conduct their lives and seek to find solutions to their difficulties based on genuine trust in God. Book 2 will be entitled Ghost Lights of Dry Brook.